TODAY Home Times has been specially designed to support children at home who are learning English.

Glasgow is a diverse city and some of our schools have dozens of different languages spoken in them.

The education department's English as an Additional Language team has come up with ideas to help parents assist their children with language development.

Now there are messages in Punjabi, Hindi and Spanish from some of the city's EAL teachers talking about how you can use your first language at home with your children.

You can see them on the education department's website here:

The message from all of them is that you can learn through your home language as well as English.

It is also good to make connections between your language and English.

There are lots of free online translation tools that will help you to find English words you don’t know.

Anything that encourages talk will help with this – and here are some ideas.

•When you are doing everyday tasks like shopping or tidying up, talk about what you are doing

•Try to name everyday object that you see in the house or outside in English and your own language

•Read or tell stories

•Watch tv and talk about what you see

Here are some examples of games you can play with your children using playing cards.

These will help children to develop number skills and your language skills at the same time.


Number of Children: Two or more

Cards Required/Resources: Deck of cards with face cards removed.


1) Put all the cards face up in an array 8 x 5 (though you can have a smaller amount)

2) Player one challenges the other player to find two cards that when added together equal a certain number i.e. “I spy with my little eye two cards that add to equal 9”.

3) Player Two then looks to find two cards that when added together equal nine. The cards can be next to each other horizontally or vertically. Player two continues to do this until he or she has found all the cards that add to make 9.

4) If player two misses any pairs that add to make what player one has asked (i.e 9) then player one can claim them.

5) The players alternate taking turns and continue until all the cards are gone.

6) The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game.

7) As large gaps appear in the array, move the cards closer together to fill those gaps.

8) I Spy Multiplication can be played in the same way by finding the products of the two cards.

Glasgow Times:


Number of Children: Two or more

Cards Required/Resources: Deck of Cards, game pieces such as counters and one or two dice.


1) The object of this game is to see who can travel from start to finish first.

2) Start with a complete deck of cards, one to two dice and game pieces for each player.

3) Face cards can be removed or they can be given values: Ace =one, Jack=11, Queen =12 and King =13.

4) You may wish to use an index card to remind children of what the face card values are.

5) Build a spiral using a deck of cards as per the photograph. It can be made smaller for a shorter game. This will serve as a game board.

6) The game can be used for addition, subtraction and multiplication or anything else you can think of.

7) For addition you can throw the dice and add the value to the number on the playing card.

8) Players move round whichever number is on 1 die or 2 dice and answer the addition question in order to be able to move.

Glasgow Times:


Number of Children: Groups of three

Cards Required/Resources: Deck of Cards


1) One player is the leader and the other two are the “mind readers”.

2) The two players each draw a card without looking at it and hold it up to their foreheads so that everyone else can see it but not themselves.

3) The leader calculates what the answer is if the two cards are added together and says it aloud.

4) Each “mind reader” must work out which card is on his or her forehead and say it out loud.

5) When both “mind readers” have figured out their cards a new leader is chosen and the game continues.

6) The same can be done with multiplication. Instead of the leader calculating the sum, the leader calculates the product of the two cards.